It took awhile but the staff of the Menominee County prosecutor’s office is at full strength. This is not only good for the lead prosecutor but it is a source of strength for the top crime-fighting force in the county and the citizens of the county as a whole.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Rogg, who was appointed top cop back in April, was left with a hefty caseload following the resignation of Bill Merkel. Merkel resigned under the terms of an agreement with the Menominee County Board. Merkel was a highly regarded prosecutor. Rogg was his assistant prosecutor. Rogg was promoted to the top position by circuit court judges Mary B. Barglined and Chris Ninomiya. The position was once an elected one.

Rogg launched a recruiting drive shortly after he assumed his job. According to Rogg, the chief assistant prosecutor is a position for an attorney with years of experience. The position of assistant prosecuting attorney, he explained, is an entry-level position designed for a lawyer fresh out of law school.

Gerald Karafa, who has had more than 20 years of experience working in criminal defense at Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, accepted Rogg’s offer to join his team in September. We know of no other county in Michigan than Wayne County where Karafa could have gained valuable experience in his field. Detroit is the center point of Wayne County. Rogg, and Menominee County in general, were fortunate to gain the services of such an experienced barrister as Karafa.

Mitchell Mcfee was the first applicant to apply for the open position of assistant prosecuting attorney. It so happens that Mcfee’s hometown roots are planted in Rochester, Michigan, which happens to be the hometown of Mr. Rogg. Michigan has a special court rule, which allows a recent law school graduate who has not yet passed his bar exam to practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

Rogg had plenty of work for Mr. Mcfee to gain experience. Mcfee since has passed the state bar exam and now is eligible to practice law on his own anywhere in Michigan.

Getting lawyers to fill positions in small towns across America is a challenge these days. There is a shortage of qualified lawyers. We saw the shortage in Marinette County in recent years. The city of Menominee has worked out a contract with an Iron Mountain law firm to handle its legal affairs. The city of Marinette has had an extended search for replacing its current city attorney who has resigned.

We know crime doesn’t pay. We also know crime doesn’t stop. There is a heavy caseload in Menominee and Marinette counties. A change in marijuana laws in Michigan is expected to keep law enforcement and prosecutors busy.

Citizens of Menominee County should feel better now that the county will have a full staff of prosecutors on board to handle the anticipated increase in cases.